I am a writer, copyeditor, and personal historian living in northern Vermont, and I have two young children. I began Fourfold Legacy Services, a subsidiary of my writing & editorial services business, Fourfold Press, because I strongly believe in the value of recording personal history.
Over the years, I have interviewed numerous individuals for 2,000-word or less magazine articles. These interviews are my favorite assignments, but they always leave me hungry for more. It's impossible to capture the breadth and depth of a life in a 3-page article.
My interest in the lives of my elders peaked as the economic downturn, during the summer and fall of 2008, worsened. I became increasingly interested in the perspective of older, wiser generations on the events of today. What lessons and words of wisdom might they be able to offer us, as we struggle to redefine the American dream?
I also began to think of my children and what a disservice it would be to them if they did not have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of their grandparents and great-grandparents. Like so many families today, we live thousands of miles away from our relatives. My kids don't have the benefit of sitting across the kitchen table from their great-grandmother, who is still living, and hearing about the games she played as a child and the dreams she dreamed.
Even though I lived down the road from one of my grandmothers and spent countless hours with her, I was only ten years old when she passed away. The questions that I would like to ask her today were not available to me when I was a child. What I would give to hear her voice sharing her life with me now that I am an adult and can appreciate the answers.
So I am committed to preserving these stories and the values that go with them for my children's generation and beyond.
But it's not just about the future. Through my work, I've discovered that the process of preserving personal and family history gives "the tellers" a renewed sense of clarity, meaning, and perspective as they review the stories of their life.
And it brings us all closer together, which is really what it's all about.
Knowing our past, we shall find strength and wisdom to meet the present.
- Gertrude Weil